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Denied e-Cigarette, LAX Passenger Assaults Attendant with Peanuts

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By Adam Ramirez on July 18, 2011 9:44 AM

Accused of throwing peanuts at a flight attendant, Utah native Pogos Paul Sefilian was arrested this week after disembarking a Southwest plane that had traveled from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, his mission was not to assault airline employees or other passengers, but instead to protest the airline's heinous policy against in-flight use of electronic cigarettes.

How dare they.

For those who have never encountered such an item, e-cigarettes simulate smoking by electronically heating liquid nicotine to the point where it turns into a vapor. Ostensibly, no fire would mean plane-friendly.

But this is not true on Southwest Airlines, which is why the Salt Lake Tribune reports that a flight attendant asked Sefilian to store his e-cig for the remainder of the flight.

And, of course, because a smoker in need of a nicotine fix often delves into the realm of toddler behavior, Pogos Paul Sefilian had no choice but to respond to the request by throwing pretzels and peanuts at a flight attendant and the flight deck, as well as to open overhead bins despite demands to stop.

In an unsurprising move, he was arrested once the plane landed, and has been charged with interfering with a flight crew.

Indeed, under federal law, a person can be sentenced for up to 20 years if he "assaults or intimidates" a member of a flight crew in a manner that interferences with her duties.

As for where Pogos Paul Sefilian will fall on the punishment spectrum for throwing peanuts at a flight attendant, who knows? But one can only hope the judge isn't allergic to peanuts.

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